George Romero Unaware of Dead Rising Lawsuit

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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George Romero Unaware of Dead Rising Lawsuit


It turns out that zombie-meister extraordinaire George Romero apparently knows nothing about the current legal tussle between Dead Rising [http://www.capcom.com/] videogame.

The tale begins early in the year, with discussions between the MKR Group, which holds the rights to theDawn of the Dead [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077402/] movie, and Capcom, developer of the Dead Rising videogame. MKR claimed the game treads too closely to Dawn of the Dead, which prompted Capcom lawyers to launch a lawsuit seeking a declaratory judgment that the company had not violated MKR's copyright on the property. The effort didn't work out too well; soon after, MKR Group launched its own suit, claiming Dead Rising is an "unlicensed adaptation" of Romero's classic.

"Both works are dark comedies," the complaint said, according to a Reuters [http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSN2526490820080226?feedType=RSS&feedName=entertainmentNews] report. "In both, the recreational activities of the zombies and absurdly grotesque 'kill scenes' provide unexpected comedic relief. Both works provided thoughtful social commentary on the 'mall culture' zeitgeist, in addition to serving up a sizable portion of sensationalistic culture."

While the two companies duke it out over who's allowed to do what with zombies in shopping malls, the man who started the whole thing seems to have no clue what's going on. A Chicago Horror Convention [http://kotaku.com/5021331/george-romero-clueless-about-dead-rising] this past weekend, and discovered the director was unaware of the lawsuit, or even of the existence of Dead Rising itself.

"I went to a horror movie convention here in Chicago on Sunday because George Romero was due to show up for autograph signing and I was hoping he could grace my copy of Dead Rising with his signature (not expecting that he would at all)," he said.

"Lo and behold he actually did, and on top of that, he was not even aware of Dead Rising... I had to explain to him what it was and he was happy to sign it," he continued. "Makes me wonder if he is even aware of the legal battles Capcom has had to endure."

Romero is a legend among horror and zombie movie fans for his long-term and highly successful association with the genre. 2008 marks the 40th anniversary of the launch of his career, which began with the 1968 classic Diary of the Dead [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063350/].


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DamienHell

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Oct 17, 2007
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how can MKR sue? Other then zombies and malls (neither items are owned by MKR) theres no real similarities, story line, where the zombies came from, zombie intelligence, etc, etc, all different
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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That sounds pretty close to Capcom's position. On the other hand, zombies and shopping malls are pretty well established as Dawn of the Dead turf.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Turf isn't a legality issue however. This is just MKR being douchebags.
 

Doug

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Apr 23, 2008
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I was under the impression that the idea of Zombies were invented in ancient times, and that malls were invented in...60's? So, I don't really see how Dawn of the Dead can claim copyright over combining the two. But hey, its not up to me.
 

Kross

World Breaker
Sep 27, 2004
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Dawn of the dead had extremely fast and voracious zombies. Dead rising had the more "traditional" shambling zombies. The survivors and other humans in the game were the real danger. The closest the movie came to that was the security guards.

Never mind the plot/protagonist of both being completely different outside of the bulk of the movie taking place in a mall.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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That depends on what Dawn we're talking about, though. The remake had the fast zombies but the original had the traditional shufflers.